The P4HT-S is one of the smaller motherboards
out there, in fact it's about as wide as the GeForce4 Ti4600 is long. The main ATX
power connector is in a good location at the right for of the DIMM slots. The P4
power connector is near the top of the motherboard which is nice.
The Northbridge is cooled by a small HSF which
glows red when the system is turned on which looks very cool. Case modders will certainly like
With more high speed USB devices
coming out, Iwill has included an internal USB port. At first I didn't
like the placement of the port just under the first PCI slot, but I suppose if
the USB slot were near the edge of the board it could be easily broken
Probably the biggest feature that we liked was that the
board had onboard Serial ATA. This is a great future proofing feature
and it's something most other motherboards don't have. Being first is always good! There
are two Serial ATA headers at the very bottom corner of the
sure frequent readers will know what has irked me most about this motherboard. With the secondary
IDE connectors below the fifth PCI slot it means the thick IDE cables may
have to wrap around all the other devices which can possibly create a big hot
Also, users of full tower cases may
have problems running cables all the way to the top of the case.
While the AC'97 codec is alright for everyday use,
gamers and audiophiles will certainly have to get a hardware based soundcard.
It's too bad Iwill is no longer using the C-Media chipset for their
motherboards like they did with their older models.
IDE RAID Explained
IDE RAID 0 is not really considered a
true RAID since there isn't any data redundancy. RAID 0 takes two drives of the
same size/configuration and stripes them, meaning it makes one big drive out of
two equal ones. This improves performance by cutting hard drive latency in half.
Since the data is divided equally and written on two hard drives it also
increases the data bandwidth by two. The reason it's not considered true RAID is
because if one drive fails, all data is lost.
IDE RAID 1 on the other hand mirrors two
drives of the same size, so in theory if one drive fails, the other will take
over as the primary hard drive and the system can continue to operate normally.
This is what is supposed to happen with a SCSI hard drive setup and it actually
works pretty well there.
The IDE subsystem doesn't allow hard
drives to be disconnected while the computer is still powered up and in use like
SCSI can unless you have a special HDD tray. Generally, when one IDE drive fails
the system usually locks up anyway. The data is safe since it's mirrored on the
other drive which is the real benefit.
With IDE RAID 0+1, you need four
hard drives of the same configuration/size. What RAID 0+1 does is
stripes two sets of two hard drives, one set for a RAID 0 configuration and the
other for RAID 1. What this does is offer the best of both worlds, the high
performance of RAID 0, with 100% data redundancy of RAID 1. Hence the name RAID
0+1. The only downside would be the need for four identical hard drives.